The impact of sustainable intensification on landscapes and livelihoods (SILL) in Zambia
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Robert B. Richardson, Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Naomi Sakana, Kurt Waldman, Philip Grabowski. (1/8/2015). The impact of sustainable intensification on landscapes and livelihoods (SILL) in Zambia.
Sustainable intensification interventions have the potential to mitigate the impact of agriculture on the landscape by intensifying agricultural production without increasing deforestation or the cultivation of more land and without reducing biodiversity (The Royal Society, 2009; Garnett et al., 2013; Keating et al., 2013). It is common think of intensification in terms of land as the key input and improving yields (productivity of the land) as the key objective. Pretty et al. (2011) define SI as (i) production of more food, feed, fiber, and/or fuel per unit of land, labor, and/or capital used; (ii) maintained and or improved natural resource base, including enhanced ecosystems services; and (iii) resilience to shocks and stresses, include climate change. SI practices could reduce agricultural encroachment into forests, preserving biodiversity and soil carbon stocks (Phalan et al., 2011; Pretty et al., 2011). Thus, SI approaches can potentially minimize environmental and long-term economic costs by increasing the efficiency of agricultural systems and by contributing to household and ecosystem resilience. SI approaches must include higher yields overall because most potentially useable land consists mainly of forests, wetlands, or grasslands, whose conversion would greatly increase emissions of greenhouse gases (Garnett et al., 2013), which is not sustainable in the long term. Increasing the land area in agriculture would also have significant environmental costs in terms of wildlife conservation, carbon storage, flood protection, recreation, and other ecosystem services.